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Collagen, the glue of the body

Proteins in our food contribute to the formation of all the tissues in the body.

Proteins in our food contribute to the formation of all the tissues in the body.

When proteins are created in our body, sequences of amino acids relatively long called "polypeptides" are conceived in a determined order by our genetic code. The DNA (our genetic code) is our personal library where all the necessary information to the production and regeneration of our tissues and organs is contained. Therefore, our DNA plays a major role keeping one of the best-kept secrets in natural health. This secret is based on twenty amino acids that are the fundamental bricks from which all the living organisms are created.

"These twenty amino acids help form the thousands of proteins found in our body. For example, it is from these twenty amino acids extracted from food that our body can form the following elements: tendons, cartilage, bones, blood, hair, nails, skin, muscles and nerves. They can also help digestion (stomach enzymes), detoxify poisons, and fight illnesses."

This means that, according to the regeneration needs our body has, the enzymes (which can be compared to construction workers) will gather amino acids to then duplicate the information in our DNA in order to build new proteins which will carry out specific functions in our body.

Importance of amino acids in cartilage

It has been acknowledged that a hydrolyzed collagen supplement, such as Genacol® supplies amino acids that contribute to the production of cartilage.

Cartilage is dense and flexible connective tissue that is very rich in collagen (almost 67% of its dry weight). It is found at the junction of several bones of the skeleton. It looks like rubber and absorbs the impact caused by movement. It is cool-white and smooth and about 3 mm thick. There are many kinds of cartilage; the one found in the knees or the discs between the vertebrae is very rich in fibres and contributes to resisting friction during movement. In children, we find a growth cartilage that is later transformed into bone, allowing the bone to lengthen.

Cartilage is a living tissue. It is comprised of cells called chondrocytes (cartilaginous cells) that undergo production and destruction cycles to maintain the balance of cartilage. After trauma, injury or a disease such as arthritis, destruction may override production of chondrocytes. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, also known as "degenerative arthritis." It is associated to a selective destruction of cartilage cells in joints and commonly affects the hips, knees, shoulders and spine. The lack of cartilage causes slower healing, protects less against friction between bones, which can cause pain and limit joint mobility.

Composition of cartilage

The main reasons of the selective destruction of cartilage cells are caused by two phenomena. Firstly, the normal aging process promotes the destruction of chondrocytes and collagen is therefore reduced. Secondly, sometimes fragments of cartilage break off and end up in the fluid of the joint. The immune system then recognizes this and causes an inflammation and attacks the cartilage, thus promoting its degeneration.

Therefore, even if a problem occurs in a single place, for example one wrist, the other wrist, knees, shoulders, hips and the back can also hurt.

Arthritis affects nearly 5 million people in Canada and more than 60 million in the United-States. It causes 6% of all hospitalizations in Canada. During the last 25 years, the costs related to conventional treatments (medication, surgery) for arthritis rapidly increased worldwide from 65 billion dollars in 1994, to almost 500 billion nowadays.

Faced with such facts, John Klippel, Medical Director of the Arthritis Foundation, states that it is time to act. Some clinical studies and testimonials have shown that some products, such as Genacol, can offer a natural solution that is the most effective.